Flehmen response

(PID:51745844600) Source
posted by alias V.C. Wald on Monday 13th of December 2021 11:35:07 PM

This bighorn ram's drawn up lip is called the flehmen response. He is inhaling pheromones released by the ewe deep into his nose where her signal of breeding receptivity (or not, in this case) will reach the vomeronasal organ. Rut (the breeding season) is just about over but many of the rams are still trying. In this photo it's easy to see that the ram only has incisors in his lower jaw, which is typical of sheep species. Pulling grass into his mouth with his bottom incisors against the hard toothless rim of his upper jaws is efficient. The grass will be ground by upper and lower molars, swallowed into a pouch called the rumen (that many other ungulates, including bovines, have) for partial digestion and returned to the chewing mouth as "cud" for further breakdown prior to digestion deeper into the alimentary tract.

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  • Published 06.03.23
  • Resolution 1024x683
  • Image type jpg
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